Finding the right balance for a prom outfit is always a challenge. But for those within the 2SLGBTQ+ community, it can feel damn near impossible.
And there’s every reason to feel this way - prom is propped up by gender normative ideologies and traditions. Guys in suits, girls in dresses.
It’s even gone to the extent of prom committees requiring signed contracts for strict heteronormative standards. This is a pretty frustrating state that we’re living in.
But still, not surprising. During the 1950s, proms were a tool to solidify the cismale-cisfemale hookup, leaving little room for those on the gender spectrum.
Refinery29 covered this topic extensively and addressed the lasting legacy of this antiquated framework; “The ritual was an agent for the then-nationwide campaign to fight homosexuality by projecting an excruciatingly heteronormative dress code and gendered roles (see: ‘prom king’ and ‘prom queen’) onto high schoolers.”
With barrier after ongoing barrier, we’re tired of seeing a lack of representation in all areas of our society. Especially in places of celebration - like graduation or prom.
Here at Tip Top, we’ve traditionally catered to cis-gendered men. And for a long time, our ads and website depicted predominantly white men in typical cishet roles. But we’re doing our best to change the narrative.
And we want to be there to serve our customers, from all gender identities, ways of life, and backgrounds. Whether trans, queer, or gender no-binary, our goal is to help you feel your best at prom.
As actor Thorn de Vries said in their TedX Talk, “A lack of representation means a lack of visibility, and if something is invisible, it’s easy to be perceived as nonexistent.”
And it’s our job to get you seen with style and confidence. Here’s our top tips for nailing your prom look.
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”
- Orson Welles, author -
Try Something Classic
Vibe check: what’s the mood you want to convey? Do you want a classic look and make it your own? Or do you want to try something a little different?
For a classic look, nothing says “prom” like a black tuxedo and white shirt. Finish it with a bowtie and pocket square for this timeless tailored look.
If you want a bit more colour without going over the top, try a deep midnight blue or burgundy jacket. When paired with black pants, it screams sophistication.
And if you’re looking to save some cash, for a limited time, with the purchase of a jacket and pants, you can grab a tie and shirt for $20.22.
Or Try Something New
If you want to change the prom fashion game, be like Billy Porter: show up and show out! Take his gorgeous 2019 Oscar awards tuxedo dress.
Though we can’t help with the dress aspect of the outfit, our tailors will complete the look with one of our suit or tuxedo jackets - our suit jackets and pants are sold separately for moments like this.
If you want to balance both feminine and masculine energies, try this yaas-moment that Awkwafina had. A blouse with a touch of frill brings this type of energy to your prom look. A silk scarf on top of a dress shirt can also be used to add effect.
For a simplified statement, try some casual spring-time freshness like Cara Delevingne. She paired a glorious lavender suit with a simple crew neck top. You can swipe the look by opting for a loose-fitting pastel suit.
But If the Prom Suit ain’t Fittin’, it’s Quittin’
Like we always say at Tip Top, there are three things that matter the most with suits: fit, fit, and fit.
Whether you decide to opt for a more slim fitting suit, or a dramatic elongated straight cut, come in with a vision for prom night. Our tailors are trained to help you achieve your prom dreams - so 👏🏼 let 👏🏼 them 👏🏼 know!
Gender Fluid Prom Styles at Tip Top
Fashion has been used to make societal statements for centuries - and it’s your turn.
Be proud of what you want to wear and show it off. Or how Toronto’s resident prom slayer, Rayne Nadurata, put it, “If it wasn’t for me expressing who I am as a person, and as an individual, then I probably wouldn’t even be here… Self-expression is everything.”
To find your prom look, come by one of our 80+ locations across Canada. And enter to win the Ultimate Prom Experience, complete with suits for you and two friends, a limo, grooming, and personal photographer!